The Why of Spam…

Not the delicious and non-nutritious tinned pork product, but the unsolicited email.

Spam has a long history:

“On May 3, 1978, the Internet witnessed a glorious and not particularly welcome birth: The first ever spam email. Gary Thuerk, a marketer for the Digital Equipment Corporation, blasted out his message to 400 of the 2600 people on ARPAnet, the DARPA-funded so-called “first Internet.””

It’s almost 40 years old and older than the public Internet.  But why does it still continue.  After all, for there to be any sense to sending mails out – even automatically – someone, somewhere, must make some money or get some sort of payback from it.  This requires someone to open the spam and either act on it – i.e. buy something form it, visit a website, etc. – or be acted upon by the spam – e.g. it’s carrying malware which puts trojan horse and virus software on their PC and probably gives them athlete’s foot at the same time.

I have a ‘throwaway’ email account that I use when I don’t want to give my main email address.  It’s on my own domain, so any anti-spam protection I apply to it is purely up to me.  And for the sake of entertainment and education I’ve applied the absolute minimum anti-spam filtering that my hosting service will allow.  I check the account occasionally, primarily to see whether there’s anything ‘doing the rounds’ that might look realistic enough to fool some of my freelance clients in to accidentally getting themselves in to deep water.

For your entertainment today, therefore, I present a few subject lines.  Who with at least a few working brain-cells could ersist the following :

  • 7 second fat flush trick
  • Stirling Generator – Big Electricity bans media cover on Stirling Generator plans
  • Kirsten Cote – re. your invoice
  • Charwin Mortgages – consider hundreds of remortgage deals
  • Hibbert, Sasha – Overdue Invoice
  • Yes Option – read this legendary story

and so on.  I now know that in the fevered world of conspiracy nutters there is now ‘Big Electricity’ who’re trying to stop you getting free electricity from inefficient generator sets or getting electricity from the air for free (Ben Franklin tried that, guys…)  As for free energy – well, I’m with Homer Simpson…this house obeys the laws of thermodynamics!

I hope that one day ‘Big Cupcake’ will emerge, crushing us all under demands that we must purchase more and more cupcakes so that our diabetes will need drugs prepared by ‘Big Pharma’ in factories powered by ‘Big Electricity’.

I have quite a few invoices that either I haven’t paid or someone wants to pay and can’t.  The details are, of course, in the attached zip file…

Who opens this sort of crap? Does anyone believe it? Or are there people out there with the cognitive capability of a mung-bean who believe this bollocks?

The amount of spam sent keeps rising – take a look here at this report from Kapersky Labs.  Spams on the back of world events, treatments for ailments that ‘Big Pharma’ are keeping from us (usually pointing to sites run by someone who makes ‘Doctor Nick’ from The Simpsons look like the winner of the Nobel Prize for medicine.

I’m not looking to provide any answers here, but am genuinely interested in how it is that potentially:

“Spam is still a big business. Unsolicited junk mail accounts for 86 percent of the world’s e-mail traffic, with about 400 billion spam messages sent a day, according to Talos, a digital threat research division of Cisco Systems.”

And this isn’t including the hand-crafted stuff deliberately designed with a particular person in mind as an attempt to hack their systems.  This is the ‘blanket bombing’ stuff.

The spammers make money from the sellers of snake oil.  The snake oil salesmen must feel it worthwhile to give spammers money. Who are the morons who give money to the snake oil salesmen? The only thing I can think of is that things are so, so desperate in the world now that people will believe any and all crap they see ‘on the Internet’ no matter how outlandish and no matter who from.

We’re getting dumber by the day.




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